Newly-elected President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan was formally sworn in at a ceremony held on Wednesday.
Khan is the third politician of Azad Kashmir who has the distinction of having been both the prime minister and president of the state in separate tenures, and is its 22nd president.
After the ceremony, Khan said that his prime responsibility would be to guide the government to ensure good governance and the well-being of the people. “Prosperity and progress of AJK is my sole objective, besides accelerating the pace of efforts for the liberation of the occupied territory,” he added.
The function was attended by political leaders, including Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan Syed Mehdi Shah, Azad Kashmir Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed, former AJK prime minister Sardar Attique, opposition leader Raja Farooq Haider, outgoing president Raja Zulqarnain and members of the Kashmir Council and the state’s legislative assembly.
Addressing Fai’s arrest
Addressing the Kashmir assembly, Khan condemned the arrest of Kashmiri leader Ghulam Nabi Fai in the United States. He said Fai was working for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue, adding that his imprisonment was a conspiracy to sabotage such efforts. He demanded his early release and said that all international forces, including the US, should play a role in settling the Kashmir issue.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2011.